Population growth continues to outpace growth in new housing – The Irish Times

The state’s population growth continues to outpace the growth in the number of new homes being built, according to recently released preliminary 2022 census data.

The country’s housing stock grew by 120,945 units, or 6%, between 2016 and 2022 to more than 2.1 million, a slower rate of increase than the 8% increase in population.

The data explains the severe pressure on the state’s housing supply.

Figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics from the census taken on April 3 show that the number of occupied dwellings increased by 9% to 1.8 million dwellings compared to 2016.

The gap between the increase in the housing stock and the increase in population has narrowed. The housing stock had increased by only 8,800 units, or less than 1%, between 2011 and 2016.

The country’s most populous region, Greater Dublin, saw the biggest increase in housing stock, with homes in Kildare and Meath increasing by 12%, followed by Wicklow, with a 9% increase, and Louth and Dublin where there were rose 7 percent.

Kildare was the only county that experienced higher housing growth than population, with housing stock growing by 12% and population by 11%.

In Leitrim, the population increased by 10%, while the housing stock only increased by 3%. In Roscommon, the population has increased by 8% and the housing stock by 3%.

The number of vacant homes, excluding holiday homes, fell to 166,752, down 9% from 183,312 vacant homes in 2016 and a further 12% reduction from 2011.

The vacancy rate stands at 7.8% of the housing stock. According to reasons collected by enumerators for vacant properties – often confirmed by neighbors, guests or local acquaintances – one in five said a property was vacant because it was a rental property.

This rate was highest in Galway City (38% of properties) and Dublin City (30%) where higher vacancy rates were due to properties being unoccupied for a short period , because they were short-term rentals or Airbnb rentals or between rentals, or where the properties were advertised as being for rent.

One in 10 dwellings identified as vacant was for sale, for sale or recently sold.

In Roscommon, County Galway and Mayo, properties were mostly vacant because the owner had died. Leitrim and Sligo had the highest number of abandoned farms.

Of the 166,752 vacant homes, nearly one in three, or 48,387, was vacant in 2016. Of these, nearly half, or 23,483, were vacant in 2011, suggesting that there are long-term vacant properties.

The CSO cautioned that vacancy was a “one-time” measure and should not be taken as an approximation of long-term vacancy given that some properties may be in use between censuses.

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